HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – For 23 years now, the Care Center of Holyoke has hosted the Young Parents Regatta, strengthening young moms in more ways than one.

The Care Center teamed up with Holyoke Rows to host the event on Saturday, inviting members of the center’s rowing program to race there.

Anne Teschner, Executive Director at The Care Center told 22News, “Our core population that we work with, are pregnant and parenting teen moms. Most have dropped out of school, many are involved with the welfare system and we’ve got a program where people pass their high school and go on to college.”

The care center’s mission is to move women forward, both on and off the water. Jarilyne Escalera came out victorious in her race on Saturday. She told 22News that the confidence gained in rowing carries over to other aspects of life.

“To be honest, when I really pushed myself harder than I pushed myself last time, it gave me motivation to do other things in life,” said Escalera. “I feel like other people that go through anxiety, depression, or stuff in their life that’s heavy. I feel like rowing is good because rowing, you’re not thinking about other things in life you’re just thinking about rowing.”

“The more you do it, the better you get and it’s pretty direct,” Teschner. “I think that is a very visceral lesson that people take with them into the classroom.”

There were both double and singles races with teams coming from Hartford, Chelsea, Springfield, and Holyoke. The care center’s programs stretch all over New England, offering the only rowing effort nationwide to link college and community rowing programs with teen parents.

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